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Global Warming Graph Analysis

Krista Larsen
,
Shorecrest High School
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Summary

Students interpret a variety of graphs from IPCC reports to learn the details of climate change.

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Context

Audience

AP Environmental Science high school course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Atmospheric composition
Greenhouse effect
Greenhouse gasses
Carbon Cycle
Correlation between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and temperature

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise that occurs near the beginning of my climate change unit.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Mechanisms of global warming, effects of global warming on climate and environment.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Analysis of data

Other skills goals for this activity

Group work and presentation

Description of the activity/assignment

Students interpret a variety of graphs from IPCC reports to learn the details of climate change. Pairs of students analyze data in graphs, and present their findings by addressing the following points: 1) Describe the axes and range of the graph; 2) Describe the general trend of the graph; and 3) What might your graph be telling us, and what can you infer from the data? This lesson appears to be relatively simple, but much of the peer-reviewed data in these reports are highly technical and require a great deal of analysis.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Graphs are presented well to the class.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_figures_and_tables.htm

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